Mitochondrial 3243A > G mutation confers pro-atherogenic and pro-inflammatory properties in MELAS iPS derived endothelial cells

Cell Death Dis. 2019 Oct 22;10(11):802. doi: 10.1038/s41419-019-2036-9.


Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) syndrome is a mitochondrial disorder that is commonly caused by the m.3243A > G mutation in the MT-TL1 gene encoding for mitochondrial tRNA(Leu(UUR)). While clinical studies reported cerebral infarcts, atherosclerotic lesions, and altered vasculature and stroke-like episodes (SLE) in MELAS patients, it remains unclear how this mutation causes the onset and subsequent progression of the disease. Here, we report that in addition to endothelial dysfunction, diseased endothelial cells (ECs) were found to be pro-atherogenic and pro-inflammation due to high levels of ROS and Ox-LDLs, and high basal expressions of VCAM-1, in particular isoform b, respectively. Consistently, more monocytes were found to adhere to MELAS ECs as compared to the isogenic control, suggesting the presence of an atherosclerosis-like pathology in MELAS. Notably, these disease phenotypes in endothelial cells can be effectively reversed by anti-oxidant treatment suggesting that the lowering of ROS is critical for treating patients with MELAS syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • MELAS Syndrome / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mutation